LATELY — 3 December 1999

A Review of Talk by Someone Who Hasn't Read It

And now, a review of Tina Brown’s new magazine Talk by someone who hasn’t read it:

The problem with Talk is that its binding sucks. It’s one big magazine, larger than letter (or A4) size, and almost 250 pages long. But it’s held together with staples. Staples! Staples are completely inadequate for a magazine of this heft!

Most magazines do their utmost to stand tall and proud when displayed in a magazine rack. But not Talk, no not Talk. Talk slouches, its back bent and corners crumpled–a magazine that doesn’t want to be touched, let alone read. I want a magazine that’s proud of its appearance, dammit, not some lousy lay-about.

The New Yorker (Tina Brown’s last magazine) was a beautiful thing–refined, elegant. I always laid it flat on a desk to read, and turned the pages carefully, even though I was usually reading a library copy. Talk, on the other hand, does nothing to inspire this sort of respect.

And so I don’t buy it.